MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - NBC12 talks to a homeowner who says everything that could go wrong with the installation of his carport did go wrong. After our 12 On Your Side report, a crew showed up to redo the entire job and make things right.
Pete Knight says crews installed his carport in the dark on a cold night this past January - apparently using headlights from two trucks to see. Several things happened here that should not have.
Knight says it was a bad night, and he was uncomfortable with the installation crew from TNT Carports, Inc. out of North Carolina. He says when the workers ran out of daylight, they didn't stop working.
"They took the truck lights and shined on it. I said, 'you all going to do this in the dark?' 'Yeah. We got to, because we have to go back to North Carolina.'"
In the light of day, Knight says problems with the $6,624.05 carport were clearly visible. Three of four anchors were unattached, and there were additional concerns.
Knight showed us places where the carport bowed and did not overlap properly. He says he contacted Leonard Building and Truck Accessories in Mechanicsville - that's the company where he bought the carport and paid them in two checks.
"I called the people in Mechanicsville. They said they didn't have any more to do with it after they sold me the building," said Knight. "I don't have what I wanted, and nobody's made any attempt to give me a hand with it. I want them to fix it like it's supposed to be, or give me my money and come on back and get the building and I can get one from somewhere else."
Knight says Leonard sent him back to TNT Carports in North Carolina.
NBC12 called both companies. After our original report, TNT Carports responded and said they offered Pete Knight a 100-percent refund or the chance to redo the job.
Knight decided to give them another whack at it and says TNT Carports did a fine job and showed up just when they said would
Engineer and Special Projects Coordinator Tommy Belton admitted installers dropped the ball.
"Obviously, they put the carport up in the dark, and that's not our policy. That's not our procedure," said Belton. "There are some problems that we saw that had defective workmanship because they worked in the dark."
He says the crew was simply trying to stay on schedule.
"We put up thousands a year, and we stay pretty booked up. In fairness to them, they had a real good work ethic, but we prefer not to work in the dark," said Belton.
"I really appreciate what Channel 12 has done," said Knight. "I was at a standstill and just didn't know what to do."
Belton walked us through what his team did to make the project right.
"We noticed the carport wasn't exactly square, and that led to some of the repaneling," said Belton. "Panels being messed up, and then there are a couple holes in the sheets and some bent sheets...Hopefully when we're done, Mr. Knight will see that he has a good building that he's proud of and proud to call his own."
Knight says he's glad he called 12.
"Ms. Walker was first class on this thing right here," said Knight. "I'm very pleased."
Before you hire a contractor, do some research and take your time. Don't be rushed into making a decision. More importantly, don't pay 100 percent of the bill, unless you are 100 percent satisfied with the work.
The Virginia Board of Contractors says never let payments get ahead of the work. There's not much incentive to return if everyone's been paid.
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